The top new fuel-efficient SUVs - and their used equivalents
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Medium-sized and compact SUVs hold nearly 40 per cent share of new vehicles sold in New Zealand in 2020. Despite preconceptions that SUVs are uneconomical, advancements in technology over the last decade have helped produce some quite fuel-efficient yet functional options. Here are some of the most popular models piquing our members’ interest.
Toyota RAV4 hybrid
- From $43,990 (TDP)
- 5l 131kW hybrid drivetrain
The RAV4 has always been a popular choice of SUV among Kiwi drivers, and technology has helped to improve efficiency drastically.
Over the last two decades, Toyota has focused on hybrids and tends to dominate the hybrid category. The hybrid powertrain in the RAV4 provides you with maximum combined power of 163kW and uses a CVT transmission, but most importantly produces a combined fuel consumption of 4.8l/100km.
The E-Four AWD model has the ability to drive off-road and allows increased and precise torque output to the rear wheels. There is plenty of room with 542 litres of luggage capacity. There’s also a decent towing capacity of 1500kg braked, which makes it a good choice if you enjoy a bit of weekend warrior action.
- From $34,750
- 0l turbocharged 85kW 7-speed DSG
The Volkswagen T-Cross is quite competitive and four options are available - a three-cylinder engine can be found in the Life, Style and 1st Edition models, whereas the top-spec R-Line sports a more powerful four-cylinder TSI engine.
The 999cc turbocharged engine is just fine for a compact SUV like this, with 85kW of power at 5000rpm, and an enviable fuel economy of 5.4l/100km. A 7-speed DSG transmission allows the vehicle to change gears quickly and gives the T-Cross a sporty feel when you’re behind the wheel.
With a manageable length of only 4235mm, the T-Cross still has a decent seats-up luggage capacity of 455l. It’s nice that it also possesses lots of the latest mod cons, like a wireless phone charger for your smartphone.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
- From $52,490
- 4l 94kW automatic, 5-door
The Mitsubishi Outlander is the most popular PHEV in the country and is very economical; when it’s only being used for short trips, it has an estimated range of 55km on electric-only mode and it can be fast charged in just 25 minutes.
The beauty of this model is that when the power is depleted, it seamlessly shifts into hybrid mode, which is great if you’re venturing further afield.
It also has Super All Wheel Drive Control (S-AWC), so if you need to venture off the beaten track then that’s no issue. Add in the 1500Kg braked towing capacity and it makes for a very versatile family wagon.
- From $33,990
- 2l turbocharged 96kW 6-speed automatic, 5-door
The striking French looks of the new Peugeot 2008 are getting attention, and at this price point it’s a very attractive option. The 2008 is a futuristic-looking compact SUV which has come a long way since the first-gen model. Now it shares PSA's all-new Common Modular Platform (CMP).
In the standard version, the 1.2 litre PureTech engine develops 96kW. The top-end GT model is more powerful at 114kW, but it’s also more economical thanks partly to an 8-speed gearbox.
The entry Peugeot 2008 Active and Allure models receive a 6-speed transmission, and all models in the range have the signature Peugeot i-Cockpit, which makes this vehicle feel a lot more premium than its price tag suggests.
Storage-wise it’s not too bad with 434l, however drop the rear seat and you can say Bonjour to 1467l. If you like to stand out from the crowd, then this model should do the trick.